The National Information Standards Organization (NISO) is a United States non-profit standards organization that develops, maintains and publishes technical standards related to publishing, bibliographic and library applications. It was founded in 1939, incorporated as a not-for-profit education association in 1983, and assumed its current name in 1984.
NISO offers two membership categories, "voting members" and "library standards alliance". In January 2016, the "voting members" included 77 large corporations, mostly publishers, and large library organizations such as the American Library Association. Voting members elect Directors and comment and vote on standards. The "Library Standards Alliance" included 135 members, primarily university and large public libraries. Library members receive free access to NISO webinars.
Todd Carpenter was appointed Executive Director of NISO in 2006. Tommie Usdin, President of Mulberry Technologies, is Chair of NISO in 2016-2017.
NISO is accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and is designated by ANSI to represent U.S. interests to the International Organization for Standardization's Technical Committee 46 (Information and Documentation). In 2008, NISO was appointed Secretariat on behalf of ANSI for the TC 46 Subcommittee 9 (TC 46/SC 9) - Identification and Description.
NISO approved standards are published by ANSI. Unlike most other ANSI standards, all of NISO standards and best practices are freely available from its web site.
Designations (names) of NISO standards all start with "ANSI/NISO Z39." (read zee or zed thirty nine dot).
Examples of NISO standards include:
In addition to formal standards, NISO also publishes recommended practices, technical reports and other consensus documents, and offers continuing education for librarians and information professionals. Information Standards Quarterly (ISQ), NISO's magazine, has been available online via open access since 2011.